Alleged victim in trial for Nacogdoches masseuse: 'I just drove - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Alleged victim in trial for Nacogdoches masseuse: 'I just drove home and cried'

Caleb Eaves (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail) Caleb Eaves (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)

Editor's note: The story contains graphic sexual language.

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Testimony got underway Tuesday morning in the jury trial for the Nacogdoches professional massage therapist who is accused of sexually assaulting a female client back in July of 2016.

Caleb O’Neal Eaves, 30, appeared in Judge Edwin Klein’s 420th Judicial District Court. He is facing a second-degree felony sexual assault charge.

According to the arrest affidavit, the victim made the initial outcry to the sheriff’s office on July 10. After a report was taken, a SANE exam was conducted on the woman. The exam revealed that she had an injury that was consistent with her claim that she had been sexually assaulted.

When the alleged victim talked to a Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office investigator on July 11, she told him that after she received a gift certificate for a massage from a friend, she went to Eaves’ home in the 200 block of County Road 415 to redeem it.

During the massage, Eaves allegedly removed the woman’s underwear and told her to turn over onto her back. Then Eaves began massaging the woman’s genital area and sexually assaulted her, the affidavit stated.

Prosecutor Andrew Jones described the victim as being confused by the terms Eaves was using. Jones said the victim assumed Eaves would be professional. 

Jones said the massage went wrong when Eaves started on the woman’s lower body, and when Eaves asked if she wanted more, she said yes, and he then took off the woman’s underwear. Then when Eaves again asked if she wanted more, she thought he meant lower on her body and that's when he sexually assaulted her, Jones said.

Jones told the jury they will hear from the victim and her friend that got her a gift certificate to get the massage. Jones also said they would hear an audio recording of an interview between detectives and Eaves.

"She thought he was professional and he took advantage of her and molested her," Jones said.

Attorney Seth Johnson then defended Eaves in front of the jury.

"Miscommunication but not sexual assault," Johnson said. "Professionally unethical, but not criminal."

Johnson said Eaves was a good husband, a welder by trade and is a professional massage therapist on the side. 

Johnson argued that while massaging her upper thigh area, Eaves gave the victim options for how the massage could be done and she asked for skin to skin.

Johnson said that Eaves said the victim seemed comfortable being nude and was uninhibited. Johnson said Eaves then decided she would explore the idea of a happy ending. Johnson said it is unethical but not sexual assault based on consent. Eaves claimed that the victim told her she was not very modest.

Eaves said after rubbing her front nude body for about 20 minutes, Eaves asked if she wanted him to go further and his hands were by her private area.

"They both agree she said yes," Johnson said. "He started touching her, but she did not say or do anything to get him to stop."

Johnson said after the massage Eaves and the victim talked, and she said next time he could stick to her legs. Johnson said Eaves then apologized. Johnson told the jury six hours after the massage, he texted her, and she responded that the massage was great. The next day, made the report.

"I'm not asking you to like the guy," Johnson said. " I do not think this was assault. I think it was stupidity."

Johnson told the jury that the victim did not tell detectives she was scared and that she didn't say anything because she didn't want to be rude.

"She thought he was professional and he took advantage of her and molested her," Jones said.

Attorney Seth Johnson then defended Eaves in front of the jury.

"Miscommunication but not sexual assault," Johnson said. "Professionally unethical but not criminal."

Johnson said Eaves was a good husband, a welder by trade and is a professional massage therapist on the side. 

Johnson argued that while massaging her upper thigh area, Eaves gave the victim options for how the massage could be done and she asked for skin to skin.

Johnson said that Eaves said the victim seemed comfortable being nude and was uninhibited. Johnson said Eaves then decide she would explore the idea of a happy ending. Johnson said it is unethical but not sexual assault based on consent. Eaves claimed that the victim told her she was not very modest.

Eaves said after rubbing her front nude body for about 20 minutes, Eaves asked if she wanted him to go further and he hands were by her private area.

"They both agree she said yes," Johnson said. "He started touching her but she did not say or do anything to get him to stop."

Johnson said after the massage Eaves and the victim talked and she said next time he could stick to her legs. Johnson said Eaves then apologized. Johnson told the jury 6 hours after the massage he texted her and she responded that the massage was great and then the next day made the report.

"I'm not asking you to like the guy," Johnson said. " I do not think this was assault. I think it was stupidity."

Johnson told the jury that the victim did not tell detectives she was scared but that she didn't say anything because she didn't want to be rude.

The victim was the first witness and she said she did not understand what it meant when Eaves said she could get "the full Monty."

During her testimony, he victim said she just got down to her underwear when he went out of the room because that's what one of her friends had done.

The victim said Eaves started the massage on her upper back and would do small talk and ask different questions like, "Are you a free spirit?"

The victim said she did not really know what that meant. 

"He had asked if he could massage under the sheet, and I said yes," the victim said. "I thought that was normal."

She told Jones that he started on the glutes, and he started sliding the underwear down. She said she let him because she thought that's what professionals would do. She said he started massaging the upper thighs.

"At one point, he asked how modest I was, and I said not really," she said. " I really didn't understand it."

The victim then told Jones that she flipped over, and he started stretching her legs.

"I really didn't know what was going on. I just started shutting down, and I just wanted it to be over. "

She told Jones that Eaves then started massaging her breast. She said she had never had a massage before, so she was not sure if it was normal. She then said Eaves started rubbing her private area.

"I didn't really know what was going on," she said. "I get really confused."

Jones asked the victim to continue.

"He asked if he should keep going, and I thought he meant move to my legs," she said. 

She said he put his finger in her, and he was not massaging. She said it was three times over a couple of minutes.

"I just shut down at that point," she said. "I didn't want to be rude because he was giving me a free massage."

She said she didn't try to do anything because she thought it would get worse.

"He told me that I seemed relaxed, but I wasn't," she said.

She said when Eaves finished she just wanted to get out of there and said she didn't have any money for another one.

"I just drove home and cried," she said. 

She told Johnson that that night she talked to a friend and a professor.

"I didn't know what to do," she said. "I didn't know if it mattered enough to be reported."

She told Johnson that she never gave consent.

"I think I understood it was not right at the moment he asked if I was okay," she said.

Johnson then cross-examined the victim.

Johnson went over screen shots of texts between the victim and Eaves.

After the massage, Eaves texted the victim that it was a pleasure having her over. The victim texted back it was great. Johnson said 24 hours after those texts, the victim was at the sheriff's office making a report.

During the questioning, the alleged victim would not make direct eye contact with Johnson. In cross examination, Eaves did look towards her. Eaves would not look at the prosecutor during the state's questioning

The victim told Johnson that she did not like answering to anything that makes her uncomfortable.

The victim told Johnson that Eaves did go out of the room while she stripped to her underwear. She said her friend told her it was a personal preference if you wanted to keep them on.

She said she could not recall Eaves asking her if she was comfortable throughout.

She said that she did give Eaves consent to remove her underwear and consent for hand-to-skin contact. The alleged victim said after he did her back area, she rolled over, and the sheet fell. She admitted she did not object to the sheet falling.

She admitted that she shrugged off a comment that Eaves made stating, "People ask weird things but what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

She told Johnson she never cried or said anything when he penetrated her because she just wanted it to be over. She said she did try to close her legs once and Eaves then pushed them back apart.

Johnson asked the victim if she gave any written or recorded statements. The victim said she gave two written and a recorded statement. Johnson pointed out that the victim never put in her statement that Eaves pushed her legs back open.

The victim said those statements included that she was scared and couldn't move because she was in shock still at the time.

The victim agreed with Johnson that she told Eaves it was okay when he apologized for making her feel uncomfortable. 

"Yes, sir, because I was ready to leave," she said.

When Jones asked her why she wasn’t looking at the defendant, she stated, "I just don't want to."

She told Jones that nothing Eaves did was an invitation for sex. She said she felt over-powered and confused. She said he was specific about removing the underwear, but he was vague about putting his fingers in her when he said, "Should I continue?"

The next witness after the victim was a friend of the victim that also had previous massages by Eaves

She said on multiple times, Eaves made inappropriate statements.

"He would say it costs more to have a happy ending," she said. "I assumed it meant you had to pay more to be touched."

The friend then broke down and cried as she talked about his statements.

"At first, I thought it was just me being insecure about my own insecurities,"she said.

The friend said she bought the massage for her friend because she said she needed one, but it was expensive. She said she did not buy it for her friend to get sexually assaulted or to have a "happy ending."

She said in her experience, Eaves would try to convince her to not use the massage.

"Even though I told him to keep the underwear on, he would pull them down," she said. He would then start to rub everywhere that was inappropriate. The massage digressed."

She said from her perspective, she thought if she allowed him to pull her underwear off, then he would think he had the right to touch her.

She told Johnson that Eaves never penetrated her or tried to advance sexually, but he did touch her inappropriately.

"I told him I did not want my underwear removed, and he did anyway," she said. "Sometimes, when he was massaging my lower body, he would touch me or get really close."

She told Jones she thought that Eaves was joking about "giving happy endings," and she feels horrible that she gave her friend the certificate.

"I feel torn up," she said. " For a long time, I blamed myself."

The third witness of the day was Charlie Weaver, a former investigator with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office.

Weaver said during the interview, the victim said she tried to close her legs, but Eaves opened them up again. She could not say if it was in the penetration phase or before.

A video recording of an interview with Eaves was played. In the video Eaves was asked what happened.

"The normal massage," Eaves told them. "Nothing different than what I did for her friends."

Eaves said he asked over and over what she wanted and how she was feeling.

"She was a very free spirit," Eaves said.

Eaves said his wife was home when she got there and was there when she left, but she was not in the room with them. Eaves told the investigators that his wife was a Stephen F. Austin State University professor and gave girls referrals.

When he was asked how much he charged he said $20 an hour. The investigator thought that was cheap.

"It is,” Eaves said. "I'm bored."

At first, Eaves said she was never uncovered. 

When first asked about him rubbing her glutes and private area, Eaves said," No, no, no," He added, "So we are going there."

He also said he did not do "happy endings," but some clients had suggested for him to do it.

"I kept her covered," Eaves said. "I never touched her panties or her vagina."

When questioned that Eaves put his finger in her, he said no and that he didn't know why she would say that. Eaves continued in the video and said he couldn't understand why this was being said.

"As far as a massage goes, she got everything I could legally do," Eaves said.

The investigators brought up the SANE exam that said there were injuries consistent to her story.

"Injuries," Eaves said in a questioning voice. "I don't understand this."

After a while and more questioning, Eaves said," Okay, okay. I did it."

Eaves then told investigators in the taped interview that he inserted his finger in her and "went too far."

Eaves said she was relaxed, and he believed she understood. Eaves said when he massaged the pubic area, it was because there are muscles that connect to that area.

The investigators said they were not locking him up then but would if they got another complaint. They also said they knew they were in a financial bind, so they knew locking him up would hurt him.

Weaver told Jones that when Eaves said he went too far, he also said he did it because she was young and free.

Weaver said they downplayed the interview to make Eaves feel more at ease. It was a non-custodial interview, so Eaves had to be let go and not detained.

"If you get a warrant first, they most likely will not give that confession once under arrest," Weaver said.

During his testimony, Weaver told Johnson that Eaves never actually said he did not have consent and that there was never an indication of when the victim tried to close her legs.

Weaver told Jones that Eaves did admit to the act.

"As soon as he said it, he dropped his head and looked down at the ground," Weaver said. " He kept apologizing."

Weaver said Eaves talked as if he went too far.

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